Thursday, September 15th, 7:00 PM at Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails. Come Rock Out for a Great Cause!
By Esther Sanchez
It’s not every night that four of my favorite local bands are going to get together for one epic night of back to back performances but, when they do, every soul in the building will surely be rocked. What makes it even better is the fact that Yovés, Grins & Lies, The People of the Sun (Rage Against the Machine tribute band) and The Hellions are coming together to raise funds and awareness for a fantastic non-profit organization that is doing extremely important work with the unhoused community of individuals who stay in the area around Washington and Country Club in Palm Desert.
Jeanette Krehbiel is the owner of Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails in Thousand Palms which is an unassuming little spot known for great drink specials, friendly staff, live music Thursdays, pool and Karaoke three nights per week. Anyone who frequents Plan B is likely to feel like part of the family and even more likely to know of the genuine kindness of its owner, Jeanette. That is precisely why I wasn’t the least bit surprised when she told me about her somewhat recent involvement with The Bridges 2 Hope.
Krehbiel: “I originally came in contact with The Bridges 2 Hope through a friend of mine. I had been waiting to donate the clothing of my late boyfriend, Jared, to something special. I didn’t want to just drop it all off at Goodwill, you know? My friend Michelle had posted on Facebook that she was looking for men’s clothing donations and so I took a lot of his clothes over to her house and we talked about the organization and what they were doing. For some time now I had been wanting to find something really special to give my time to and this group really stood out to me because they are doing so much more than just giving handouts to needy people. It’s really more about getting people the help they need to get back to their lives whatever that might take whether it’s getting them into rehab and sober living or helping them get on Medi-Cal or the CalFresh program for food assistance.”
Krehbiel continues: “For example, I had only been volunteering for about a week when I took two of the clients to Social Services to apply for the benefits they needed. They met me there at our weekly meeting spot on Washington and Country Club and we got in my truck to go do what was necessary for them to take that next step towards a better day to day life. Another time I met with some of them to pick up prescriptions. Occasionally I’ll pick some of them up in my truck so they can get the cans they collect to the recycling center. I’ve only been helping out for a few months now but they’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it’s the practical kind of attitude that helps meet the everyday needs beyond just food and clothing that really made me really want to be a part of this organization. These are the kinds of steps that need to be taken to get people back on their feet.”
When Jeanette speaks to the practicality of the help the clients of Bridges 2 Hope are receiving, she is speaking to part of what I think is particularly special about the non-profit organization. I had the opportunity to go see for myself the crucial work being done by the volunteers on a weekly basis and I was fully impressed by the extent of the care and the depth of consideration given to every individual in attendance. Drawn in by the smell of a hot plate of pulled pork sandwiches with sides and desserts donated by Nothing Bunt Cakes, attendees are able to sift through carefully organized stacks of seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes they are welcomed to.
I also had the pleasure of witnessing the stellar team of medical professionals who showed up to do everything from giving out vaccinations provided by Coachella Valley Pharmacy to taking vitals and doing wound care. Doctors, nurses and pharmacy workers braving the blistering heat and humidity, most of them after a long day at their regular jobs are doing the necessary tasks to make the daily existence of our most vulnerable neighbors as healthy as they possibly can.
Dr. Brian Wexler, PHD Psychology/Behavioral Health Eisenhower Hospital: “There are a handful of us who had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jim Withers who is the founder of Street Medicine International out of Pittsburg. It’s basically a group of doctors from all over who are inspired to provide homeless medicine outreach. We call it, “street rounds.” The motto has always been, “Go to the people.” We are doctors and nurses who came together and coordinated a way to bring healthcare to the people right on the streets. We have been up to this for about 8 years now. I believe this is our 324th Tuesday doing this work and it’s all volunteers. We also have residents who participate as part of their training curriculum in community medicine. Incredible doctors, nurses and students in training going out and supplying basic needs.”
I spent a couple of hours with not only the fantastic founders and volunteers working with Bridges 2 Hope, but also spoke to a few of the clients who have been benefiting from the work that they were doing. During this time I was impressed, over and over by the sheer practicality of the needs being met and the dedication of the volunteers who meet people exactly where they are with no strings attached. Some of the clients spoke of well-meaning folks who have shown up with promises of help who never came back. Yet rain or shine, (or 115 degree heat) these volunteers with hearts of gold show up like clockwork and keep their promises. Also spoke to a client who was proud to share with me that through the help and connections given to her by Bridges 2 Hope, she was heading to rehab within a few days. In other words, lives are being changed.
If you would like to be a part of the life changing work that Bridges 2 Hope is doing you can find them at www.facebook.com/TheBridges2Hope or better yet, come on down to Plan B on Thursday, Sept 15th at 7:00 PM to see a bunch of fantastic bands and find out how you can help!